Municipal Dog Pounds

Not only dog lovers but also everyone with a tender heart and a passion for justice will be outraged at the brutal treatment that is still being given to stray dogs, many of them having been abandoned by their cruel owners.

The article in the Star on Monday, 19th April 2010 tells us the whole sordid story:

MUNICIPAL dog pounds are the biggest animal abusers in the country according to animal rights lawyer N. Surendran.

He said workers contracted to manage the pounds and catch strays were not trained to care for the animals and were only interested in catching the dogs for money.

“The way the dogs are caught and, eventually, put down shows that they have no care for the dogs and lack empathy,” he said.

SPCA chairman Christine Chin also added that dog catchers were not qualified to handle the strays.

According to her, there is also no humane management at the pounds where the dogs are housed.

Council dog catchers have been criticised for the rough methods used to snare the strays and questions have been asked on how the local authority goes about recruiting these people and what kind of training is provided for them to manage the pounds.

“The trucks and vans used to keep them are totally inappropriate and are against the VSD Code of Good Animal Husbandry practices.

“Also, we are still in the dark on how the strays are put down,” Chin said.

Numerous cases of mistreatment of stray dogs by dog catchers have been reported in pounds run by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj), the Klang Municipal Council (MPK), the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) and the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

Chin, however, praised the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for having the most decent pounds in the Klang Valley.

The non-governmental organisation Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) has visited numerous municipal pounds to see first hand the deplorable conditions the dogs are kept in.

“The dogs don’t receive proper food and enough water and the enclosures they are kept in are never cleaned and disinfected.

“That is why dogs that we rescue from the municipal pounds all suffer from distemper, parvo and corona viruses and other diseases and infections,” a MDDB volunteer who declined to be named said.

She added that one of the worst-kept pounds they had visited was the one run by the MPS.

Chin was puzzled that the government pounds were not well-funded, which she said was the opposite of the situation overseas.

The VSD in 2008 had come up with a comprehensive guidelines on Catching and Exterminating Strays Dogs and it was meant to educate the municipal councils and NGO’s on how to maintain and manage pounds in a sustainable manner.

However, when StarMetro checked with three municipal dog pound workers, none had read or even seen the the manual.

A dog catcher who spoke on condition of anonymity said that no one cared about the dogs as they were seen as a nuisance and it was just an chance to make money.

“The more dogs you catch, the more money you make,” he said.

I have two dogs, Socks and Blackie – both former strays – but now they live in the house and are part of the family.  Every time I return home, they wag their tails excitedly conveying both a warm welcome and also deep gratitude that I have rescued them from a fateful visit to a municipal dog pound!

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